This dining habit is being called ‘one of the rudest’ ever. But is it really so?

You’ve toiled in your kitchen for the better part of the day, preparing one of your culinary delights to share with family or friends. The positive reviews that you had hoped for will begin to flow when the time comes and the forks are ready to go.

“This is phenomenal!”

“Would you send me the recipe?”

“I’m savoring every morsel.”

Your elation will be brought back to earth in one swift sweep.

“You know what would make this dish even better? Have you ever made it with ricotta rather than cream cheese?”

Official Opening of Floodgates

“Right! Maybe salted butter would be better than unsalted?

“I could totally see this working with the sour cream swapped out for yogurt.”

(Mealtime with Mister Manners (This column explores modern-day dining problems in a variety of ways.

This is now a thing — until it no longer is

Last week, the clumsily critical behavior of “invidious comparating eating” (or “ICE”) was given a new name. An online outlet is now selling a pejorative term that appears to have no lineage prior to 2023. decried by HuffPost as “one of the rudest dining habits ever.”

Recipe one-upping is apparently a bigger problem than most of us may have realized, for the very same story refers to it as a scenario witnessed by “millions of estimated Americans.” Exactly who conducted the estimating goes unstated. We don’t know who judge considered this behavior acceptable for a top spot on the rudeness pile, exceeding or sharing space with belching and taking thirds before other have had firsts. chewing with your mouth open.

Are you offended?

Though some know-better types may revel in crushing egos with their unsolicited two cents, I believe a great many home cooks — dare I say “millions of estimated Americans”? — enjoy and even ask for constructive comments from trusted fellow gourmands sampling a just-served dish. In my experience, this is especially true if it was said home chef’s first time attempting a particular recipe.

Does this mean that houseguests should be comfortable giving unrequested feedback? It doesn’t. The first order of sampling a meal prepared for you by another is to consume it with appreciation — not attacks.

So what can a pride-filled chef at home do if the ICE man comes for dinner? I recommend acknowledging the comment but not taking it too seriously. I would suggest something along these lines:

“You think so? It’s an interesting suggestion.”

At this point, I would change gears to appear non sequitur. In fact, it would be nothing but:

“May I freshen anyone’s drinks?” And to the table’s apparent instigator of all things invidious (not to mention insidious): “Sam, can I get you any more ICE?”

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